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a manufacturer of RF and microwave filters, has published its October newsletter. In
it, Anatech founder and owner Sam Benzacar discusses the finally come-of-age Microelectromechanical
systems (MEMS) switch for RF use. A MEMS switch is smaller and lighter than any other
switch technology, has very little insertion loss, provides very high isolation, can
theoretically operate into the millimeter-wave region, and can handle substantial amounts
of RF power. RF MEMS switches' Achilles heel at the moment is relatively low isolation
(~25 dB) compared to other types of RF switches. Sam also includes some relevant
telecomm industry headline news.
A Word from Sam Benzacar
The MEMS RF Switch
By Sam Benzacar
Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) devices have been used for many years in as
accelerometers and various other types of sensors, but even though the technology has
huge benefits for RF switching, there have been few commercial devices, and only about
three companies manufacture them today. The reason is that switches are different from
other MEMS devices, and it has taken many years to develop them, produce them in large
quantities and achieve high levels of reliability over billions of switching cycles.
Unlike the many other functions for which MEMS devices have been commercialized for
many years, RF switches present unique challenges and achieving wide bandwidths, high
reliability, and commercial producibility in a tiny RF MEMS switch has been an elusive
goal since the technology was first realized. However, after countless efforts by organizations
ranging from DARPA to defense contractors, academia, private research organizations,
and other entities, the path is now open for MEMS to deliver performance unachievable
by any other technology. However, this has begun to change.
MEMS switch is smaller and lighter than any other switch technology, has very little
insertion loss, provides very high isolation, can theoretically operate into the millimeter-wave
region, and can handle substantial amounts of RF power. The first company to develop
and commercialize a MEMS switch was Analog Devices, which still makes them, and today
only Menlo Microsystems and Cavendish make them as well.
For RF and microwave applications, MEMS switches have the potential to be used for
replacing coaxial switches in test equipment, switched filter banks, array antennas,
general purpose RF and microwave multiplexing, and have demonstrated their ability to
operate at up to 18 GHz with frequencies likely to increase in the future. Power
handling ability of MEMS switches is currently about 150 W pulsed with isolation
greater than 25 dB, and OIP3 of at least 85 dBm. A packaged six-channel MEMS switch
measures only 5 x 5 x 1 mm in a QFN package, as well. In short, the MEMS switch
has the potential to take the place of many other types of switches in various microwave
L-3 Merges with
Harris Corp. and L3 Technologies are merging in an all-stock merger of equals, making
the combined entity L-3-Harris Technologies the sixth largest U.S. defense contractor,
with 48,000 employees, $16 billion in annual revenues, and customers in more than 100
countries. The combined company will be headquartered in Melbourne, FL. The combined
company is expected to generate earnings before interest and taxes of $2.4 billion and
a cash flow of $1.9 billion.
Russia Testing Microwave Weapons
Russia is reportedly testing microwave directed-energy weapons at firing ranges tested
at firing ranges that are designed to burn missile-homing systems and may be incorporated
in the arsenal of sixth-generation fighter jets. Directed-energy weapons can be used
to disable incoming missiles by destroying their guidance systems. They will be integrated
into the multifunction device including radar and other sensors as well as EW, missile-guidance,
and possibly a communication system. Its offensive use would produce large amounts of
microwave radiation, which would be harmful to pilots, meaning that only UAV-type aircraft
would be suitable.
Vehicle Radar Goes
Vayyar Imaging as designed him millimeter-wave radar sensor that can create 3D imaging
of the environment inside and around a car. Vayyar has previously created 3D radar sensors
that can see through walls, making better stud finders for carpenters and even figuring
out if someone in your house stops breathing. The devices can send out low-frequency
radio waves that bounce off objects and Vayyar's sensors can detect these objects and
build a 3D map of a space. It delivers the millimeter-wave 3D imaging capability on an
SoC and would allow automakers to reduce the overall number of sensors. The system collects
the reflections and analyzes them putting them back together as a 3D image in real time.
The kit includes a 77 to 81 GHz ASIC featuring 48 transceivers that include DSP, an antenna
and a USB interface.
Qualcomm Releases 60-GHz Wi-Fi SoC
Qualcomm as introduced 60-GHz Wi-Fi SoCs, the QCA64x8 and QCA64x1, that can deliver
speeds of over 10 Gb/s with the 802.11ay standard designed to cover short ranges indoors
rather than longer ranges as do other Wi-Fi standards such as 802.11ac. However, 802.11ay
does cover up to 300 meters in some cases but cannot easily penetrate walls. 802.11ay
can support sensing applications like presence detecting, gesture recognition, room mapping,
precise location, and facial feature detection.
Check out Our Filter Products
Cavity Band Pass Filters
LC Band Pass Filters Cavity Bandstop/Notch Filter
About Anatech Electronics
Anatech Electronics, Inc. (AEI) specializes in the design and manufacture of standard
and custom RF and microwave filters and other passive components and subsystems employed
in commercial, industrial, and aerospace and applications. Products are available from
an operating frequency range of 10 kHz to 30 GHz and include cavity, ceramic, crystal,
LC, and surface acoustic wave (SAW), as well as power combiners/dividers, duplexers and
diplexers, directional couplers, terminations, attenuators, circulators, EMI filters,
and lightning arrestors. The company's custom products and capabilities are available
Anatech Electronics, Inc.
70 Outwater Lane
Garfield, NJ 07026
Posted October 24, 2018